“Homeless isn’t a different page. We’re not the Bag Lady, we’re not the Hobo. We’re not just a piece of trash on the side of the street. We’re not. We’re a human life.
“We’re just like all those good political figures you see on the nightly news. We’re just like all of those cashiers you run into at the supermarket. We’re just like all of those gas station attendants and the waiters and waitresses at the restaurants.
“We’re just like your neighbor.
“The only thing is, we don’t have that home.”
– Chris, somewhere in Rhode Island.
Difficult to read, that. Harder still to listen to.
In less than 100 words, Chris – his full name is unknown to us, so too his exact location – spells out for us what it is to be homeless.
The film clip is titled What do you want the public to know about homelessness.
Chris, we’ve listened and now we know. Homeless isn’t a different page. Homelessness has our attention here in Saunderstown, Chris has made us think.
Here in our studio, in our lives, there are things that mean so much to us that it’d be impossible to imagine being without them.
Such staples include our OMs, for sure, but above them on the list feature items much more important, things so basic that to most, they’re considered inalienable rights.
Things such as family, that’s our absolute number one, friends, health and happiness, things such as our home.
Home means so much. It’s our safe place, our shelter. It’s our base, our launching pad. It’s the thing that defines us, the place in which we find solace, it’s where we retreat when the going gets tough.
Having a home, it seems unthinkable that there are people on this Earth who don’t.
But there are, there are people like Chris and they’re not just somewhere out there on this Earth. They’re right here, in our midst, in our State, on our doorstep.
Have you given them much thought? Be honest.
Here in our studio, we spend much time thinking about the people on this planet who are OMless.
Perhaps the time has come to give a little more consideration to those who are homeless.
For after all, as Chris has made us realise, these are human lives.
Homeless does not mean trash. That Chris feels the need to spell that out shames us all.
Think about it the next time that you encounter a homeless person. Think about those sleeping beneath bridges, those bundled up in our public parks.
Think about the shelters, think about the tent cities. Think about Chris. Think about the people.
Think about organisations like the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless – an amazing organisation, its amazing people dedicated to helping the homeless.
RICH, a group assisting people who are far from rich, has this simple objective: We envision a State of Rhode Island that refuses to let any man, woman or child be homeless.
That speaks to us loud and clear in our studio, in our home, and it’s something we wanted to share.
You might not realise it, but population percentage-wise, Rhode Island’s homeless problem ranks amongst the most severe in The United States.
In bringing this to your attention, in raising awareness, we hope to help in starting to turn the tide, in attitude, if nothing else.
Please be aware, please understand.
Please recognise organisations like RICH for their sterling service.
Please recognise the homeless for the articulate, intelligent people they are.
People like Chris, but above all, just that: People.
Here in Saunderstown we’re all about people and we’re all about stories, happy, sad or otherwise.
This is a cause we’d like to support and an issue we hope to highlight again.
Thank-you Chris, thank-you RICH.
We are all connected.